Thank you for taking the time to read this note even though it’s not about lip-smacking halal food or awesome Muslim-friendly attractions that you’re used to reading on HHWT. We wanted to talk about something a little more personal; what HHWT is all about and why you (yes YOU!) should care.
Hello, it’s us…
We’ve had multiple debates within the HHWT team since we started in February 2015, over whether we should reveal our true identities.
We’ve come to realise that as much as we love learning more about our readers through your comments and encouragements, we want you to know more about us too, so we can have an even better relationship ?
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From top left onwards: Sabrina, Atiqah, Suzana, Mikhail, Elaine, Lyn, Zarifah[/caption]
How it all began...
It all started out when the 3 founders (Melvin, Suzana & Elaine) were on an exchange programme in Seoul where there weren't as many halal food options available as it is now. Who wants to have seafood or vegetables every day for months on end right? That’s when we realized that there was a need for a consolidated space where Muslim travellers (and their friends!) would be able to seek out information about what to see and do, especially in countries where halal food is hard to find. And tada, that’s how Have Halal, Will Travel was born!
What HHWT stands for
There’s a verse in the Holy Quran that says:
Say, [O Muhammad], "Travel through the land and observe how He began creation. Then Allah will produce the final creation. Indeed Allah, over all things, is competent." -
Surah Al-Ankabut (The Spider) 29:20
Travel definitely broadens our horizons and our understanding of the world. That’s why we’ve been working very hard to publish the best travel and food guides in hopes of making travelling a richer experience for our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters.
Messages like these keep us going (and by that we mean weeping tears of joy) ...
Travel as a force for peace ✌
We believe that through travel, Muslims are able to be ambassadors of peace. Travel and show the world that besides holding on to our faith, there’s a whole lot of similarities between us, and that in our differences lie many things to be learned from one another.
That’s what HHWT is all about – inspiring Muslims to see the world and bringing people from all walks of life together, no matter your religion, age or status ?
Close your eyes, cut the cord
After much discussion, we made a bold decision to drop our jobs at a local media agency to work on HHWT full-time on 1st
of October 2015.
It’s been a challenge but one that we accept with open arms and one that we’re unwilling to delay, in spite of the overwhelming odds.
We do everything from A-Z around here because we’re still a start-up up company (i.e. we’ve only got a small budget and a limited runway), but Inshā’Allāh with all your support and duas, we’ll keep getting bigger and better! HHWT is very much a labour of love for us ❤️
Helping the Muslim community
We’re travellers ourselves! That means that we really do understand how tough it is to find information we need when travelling. We appreciate it when fellow Muslim travellers share their insider knowledge, because we believe that this helps to build up our community!
We’re also very excited to release several new projects in 2016 to help make it easier for Muslims to travel. Expect greater coverage for our travel guides (wait for it!), lots more travel inspiration, and more cities coming your way on our HHWT Travel Planner App?
Help your fellow Muslim globetrotters!Credit: Giphy
As much as we try our best to serve our brothers and sisters, our efforts can only go so far. Here's where you can come in to help, and magnify our collective actions. Are you ready to make a difference?
Here are 5 things you can do:
- Remember that you’re an ambassador of peace. Build relationships with others wherever you are. Even smiling to a stranger is part of the sunnah! (Always great to collect brownie points while doing something you love, right?)
- Share our story, and spread our message to people that matter to you.
- Ready to share your travel tips and experiences with other Muslim travellers? Apply to be a writer or simply send us some tips.
- Stay in the loop! Subscribe to our weekly newsletter. It’s the best of HHWT delivered straight to your inbox.
- Moved by our cause? Drop us a word of encouragement via email, Facebook, or follow us on Instagram!
A final message
If you’ve been with us since our debut in February 2015, thank you so much for your support. If you’ve just popped by, welcome to the HHWT travel community!
Last (but definitely not least!), many thanks to our freelance writers for their incredible work. We would never be able to cover so many interesting places without their help ?
Your support means the world to us. In fact, it is what keeps us going every day – so we’re always delighted to receive your encouragements and comments on what we can do to improve. Do like and share our articles if you enjoy reading them. Get in touch with us by emailing us at [email protected]
, keeping up with our latest updates on Facebook
, as well as subscribing to our newsletter here
(we promise you’ll want us in your inbox for weekly fun stuff!).
Lots of love,
P.S.: Team introductions below!
#HHWT unmasked *drum rolls*
Melvin is HHWT’s Chief-of-Everything Officer, without whom much of what we do wouldn’t be running as smoothly as it is. Besides keeping the rest of us on track, he’s also known to be quite (read: extremely) random ? Fun fact – He’s a new revert so he’s on a personal mission to find more yummy halal Chinese food!
Besides plotting on ways to smuggle a cat into the office and dreaming of going on a safari adventure in South Africa, we've got to thank Suzana because she's the brainchild behind the original idea of HHWT! Without her adventures of trying to find halal food in Korea, we wouldn't be where we are today ? (Although if she had her way, HHWT would be based in Japan and we would be having our team meetings in Tokyo Disneysea!)
While she's waiting for her acceptance letter into Hogwarts by owl post (any day now!), Elaine is constantly wanderlusting while using her wild imagination to travel to different worlds through her books and TV shows. Besides also trying to sneak in another cat home (...can you tell by now that we're huge cat people? ?), she's all for helping her Muslim friends to be able to see the world - that's why we love her!
Sabrina’s home base is in Kuala Lumpur, and when she's not trying to hide behind something, she enjoys going on road trips with her husband (to eat ?) on every chance she gets. She loves enjoying the little things, being able to encourage Muslims to travel, and really wants to check out the sights and sounds of Morocco - besides having the opportunity to experience the hajj someday.
Still in constant denial of her impending transition into adulthood, Atiqah travels vicariously through others. She hopes to one day visit Greece and be claimed by one of the (mythical) Greek gods. In her spare time, she reads Harry Potter fanfiction and dramatically weeps over psychological manga?
Till this day, Zarifah believes that unicorns and magic exist. Her love for reading has allowed her to travel to many different places from the comfort of her own home. Besides reading, she also enjoys amassing knowledge on random trivia facts.
Apart from collecting notebooks for aesthetic pleasure, Lyn found love in documenting travel videos. She aims to explore different cities each year and hopes to complete her experience with all four seasons some day.
*And last but not least. Thanks to our friends Isaac, Ronny & Wei Ping for helping out with the tech side of things!